Yellow Buses is back under local ownership after being acquired by its management team for an undisclosed sum.
David Squire, Managing Director; Simon Newport, Commercial Director and Phil Pannell, Service Delivery Director, are now equal shareholders in Bournemouth Transport Limited (BTL).
The trio are lifelong busmen with more than 100 years of experience between them.
BTL trades under the names Yellow Buses and Yellow Coaches. Also included in the sale is Vintage Yellow Buses Limited, an associated non-trading company.
The management buyout (MBO) follows a decision by French-owned RATP Dev to review its operations in the UK.
In future, the company, which acquired BTL in 2010, will focus on its franchise operations in London as well as sightseeing and coach businesses in Bath, London and the North West.
David Squire, who was appointed as Managing Director of Yellow Buses in 2017, said: “This puts the local management team firmly in the driving seat. We are now masters of our own destiny.
“We remain as BTL and there are no changes to the terms and conditions of our employees or pension schemes. We have injected fresh capital into the company and will be looking to invest in our staff, fleet and systems going forward.
“We are over 18 months into the plan that we started in 2018 and are in a strong place with passenger growth, improved income and a booming coach operation.
“As an independent company we will be quicker, more agile at decision-making and, therefore, better able to react to opportunities as they arise.”
Yellow Buses operates a fleet of 140 buses and 16 coaches with more than 410 staff.
The company carries just under 15m passengers a year with its vehicles operating nearly five million miles across the Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and East Dorset area.
Laurence Batlle, RATP Dev’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Under the leadership of David Squire and his team, Bournemouth Transport has undergone major transformation.
“The agreement will ensure the company has local ownership and management. We are delighted that we can enable Bournemouth Transport Ltd and its employees to pursue a promising way forward and wish them every success.”
RATP Dev UK was advised by Osborne Clark in London while the MBO team worked with Backhouse Jones, specialist transport solicitors, together with Moore and Smalley and Weightmans for legal and financial due diligence.